Mark Ritson's described marketers as magpies, flitting from one fad to another. He judged them guilty of spending too much time and budget on emergent opportunities at the expense of established ones. This flightiness leads to media investment out of kilter with customer behaviour and large investments in areas with unproven ROI.
They did this because they were loss averse: they knew that whilst a surplus of food was favourable, a lack of food was fatal. In fact this attitude to risk has been a facet of human development for so long that evolutionary psychologists think that we're hard wired to be loss averse.
Is it possible that there's a common approach shared by the world's most successful brands? It's not surprising that the most successful brands had performed well financially in previous years. If they hadn't delivered shareholder returns, they wouldn't be in the top 0.1% of brands. It's a circular piece of logic.
So why do imperfections make people and products more attractive and, more importantly, how can brands apply these insights? First, admitting weaknesses makes brands seem more human. In an age when many prefer the authentic to the mass produced, this boosts appeal.
An unbounded enthusiasm for data is dangerous and advertisers should avoid harnessing data merely because it exists. Instead, as much time, energy and effort should be expended in choosing which data sets to ignore as which to use. Advertisers who resist this painful cull, and gorge on data, might end up regretting it.
Imagine you had two applicants for a graduate vacancy. Both are well-qualified, with strong academic credentials, plenty of work experience and a passion for advertising. How would you choose between them?
One winter's day in 1961, Professor Edward Lorenz - one of the first meteorologists to use computer-based prediction - decided to run a weather simulation in his MIT lab. He'd run this one before, so he was pretty sure he knew what to expect. But on this occasion, to save time, he inputted the data using three decimals places, rather than six as he had used originally. So, for example, 23.348 rather than 23.347813: a difference of just 0.000187.
2016 will be a record-breaking year for sports sponsorships. Brands will be clamouring to attach their names to both the regular annual events but also the two quadrennial extravaganzas: the Rio Olympics and UEFA Euro 2016.
19/05/2016 14:22 BST
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